back to article Oracle sues Google over Java in Android

Oracle has mounted a no-holds-barred legal attack on Google's Android operating system in a lawsuit that accuses the internet giant of deliberately infringing patents and copyrights Oracle holds for the Java platform. In a complaint filed late Thursday, Oracle asked a federal court in Northern California to seize all Android …

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  1. JaitcH
    Pint

    In other words: Share the Wealth, Google.

    I want to know why they didn't sue Google for also copying the letters O, L and E for use in their name.

    1. Jon Double Nice

      Hahaha

      dude, I totally have the letter 'O' in my name, and they used it twice!

      ..

      Step 3: Profit!

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Go

        Title?!?

        Ooooohh. Prior art...

    2. Allison Park

      Oracle's hate meter is rising

      Oracle will be to the Java community what SCO is to the Linux community.

      They are even using the same lawyer!!!! David Boies.

      He makes tens of millions and drove SCO out of business, maybe he will be just as successful with Oracle.

      We really need a Larry Ellison with devil horns icon to choose from....or maybe Leisure Suit Larry

      1. Jeff Power
        Troll

        @Allison Park

        Yes, but by being that to the Java community, they'll be loved by the everybody-else community, as Java is generally hated, except by those who love it.

      2. Rex Alfie Lee
        FAIL

        I thought Java had become at least partially OSS...

        Absolutely right - not that Oracle has ever been particularly "not a bunch of wankers" but now they've completely come out of the closet. "We're the fastest database" - no MySQL was but then they bought it. Now they are suing Google for using something that was supposed to be open for business as in OSS. Yes, they reek of SCO-type behaviour & I now hope they end up destitute.

        Not a big fan of Goggle at the moment either but this is crap!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been a long time coming...

    I can't believe that Sun allowed Google to get away with this in the first place.

    Oh, hold on, Andy Bechtolsheim gave some seed capital to the then unnamed company, and Eric, who led Java development for a while, is CEO.

    They were our friends, so all was cool. They aren't Larry's friends so the gloves are off.

  3. David 138

    pffft

    hopefully oracle will go bust soon and take java and their database. they are both awful

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Oracle: The new SCO

      So they're suing Google for implementing Java.

      They forgot that save for a few classes, much of Java is open-source.

      It's like they're trying to stuff a genie back into the bottle.

      Now, normally I'd be apathetic towards Google as well (how dare they remove my Hitler Bunker Scene rant about how the local ISP monopoly has canceled plans on bringing in FIOS into my area!), but for this, if they're successful with Google, Nokia will be under the chopper next, and perhaps many other phones that does Java.

      And then they'd probably discontinue MySQL, sue Team MediaPortal and declare OpenSolaris illegal.

      That's it, I'm outta here. Taxi!

      1. John 73
        FAIL

        Patents != copyright

        Just because Java is Open Source doesn't mean that it can't be patent encumbered.

      2. David Given
        Thumb Up

        Oracle: the new SCO

        Hilariously, Oracle appear to have contracted Boies, Schiller & Flexner as their lawyers. You may recognise them from other epic court cases such as SCO vs. World...

        1. Rex Alfie Lee
          Joke

          Boies, Schiller & Flexner...

          Sounds like a really bad case. Hopefully there's an antibiotic to cure this disgusting disease. I'm sure it's one of those ongoing problems that leads to a protracted period of poor health & leads to financial ruin. One can only hope anyway.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Java isn't awful at all

      Java the language and Java the VM are both excellent technologies. Absolutely nothing matches them for stability, breadth of support, portability, tools etc. That includes C# / .NET which although C# is arguably a better language simply isn't portable.

      The problem for Java is its stewards are extremely conservative and seem more interested in providing a stable platform for enterprise applications than addressing the needs of desktop apps and mobiles.

      I think what is likely to happen over time is that the JVM will continue to be used but apps are going to diversify and start being developed in the likes of Groovy / Scala / Jython etc. where they benefit from dynamic scripting, convention based development and more modern language features but can still benefit from the vast Java ecosystem which exists out there.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    bad move by oracle

    anyone else think oracle bought sun just so they could do stuff like this?

    they should be thanking google for helping promote the java platform, not suing them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      OK, let's extend that logic...

      Right so can I have all those pictures you have on your phone of you family please? I just want you to thank me for promoting your life!

      No you don't any say in how I promote you, I just want to do it my way without any say from you.

      Alright if I manipulate your family pics on my grot site? I'm still promoting them and you should thank me for it!

      Personally I think Oracle are being scum but it's their property and they still have a say in how it's used and abused, whatever Google may think.

    2. Rex Alfie Lee
      Joke

      I wonder who the 4 against are?

      Perhaps Boies, Schiller & Flexner & Larry himself onboard as Anonymous Twats!

  5. Ian Yates
    Thumb Down

    I see

    Now Oracle's takeover makes more sense.

    I can't see how this is going to benefit the Java community in any positive way; this is just Oracle acting for their own self interest.

    I know, I know, they are a company and this is a product (albeit, reasonably open), but Java is a community (as is any development language), and Oracle should be thinking of their effects on that as much as any profits.

    Ah well, it's all MHO.

  6. Antidisestablishmentarianist
    Heart

    Go Oracle!!

    Whoop whoop!

    Get the fsuckers

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      YES! Go Oracle, go!

      I don't like patents but sometimes you have to fight back with what you have. Google is an evil empire. When are we getting the "evil Eric Schmidt" icon?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Big Brother

        Evil Eric Icon? In my Register?

        It's closer than you think.

      2. Stiggy

        I Agree

        Kinda...

        Go, Oracle. Just go.

        Away.

  7. iamapizza
    Thumb Down

    My first thought...

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    1. What Now
      Thumb Up

      @iamapizza

      Yes+++

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      The interesting question now becomes...

      What will we replace Java with? The freedom's gone from this language, let's find something else. And don't get started on the IcedTea/OpenJDK implementation, it's not compatible enough and too compatible by far.

      1. Iceman

        Nice little snake in title.

        Try python.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never understood why google didn't buy sun

    Given how much google uses java and the knowledge and people sun possessed in the real time, jit and general vm capabilities, I never understood why google did not jut buy sun. Philosophically sun is much more aligned to goggle rather than oracle.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Maybe Oracle wants Google to buy part of Sun

      If Google bought Java off Oracle it would relieve it of something that it doesn't want.

      Watch Oracle next hit HP or IBM with some hardware patents law suit - and get them to buy the remains of Sun hardware to make the law suit go away.

      Oracle could then slowly strangle mysql and eliminate that as a competitor.

      1. Stephen Bungay

        Strangle MySQL?

        Me thinks not. A GPLd application is going to be impossible to kill, too many people have a vested interest in it AND the freedom to continue developing it.

      2. TheGlobalMind

        Oracle wishes it had something on IBM

        Sorry for Oracle but IBM kills them on the hardware. Hell IBM for a long time was the fab for some of Sun's gear.

        The real shame is that IBM should have kept their boot in it and bought Sun. This suit would never happen in that case as IBM has it's own self interest in seeing Java prosper.

        Oracle on the other hand is interested in killing off anything it didn't come up with.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        MySQL going?

        I think not. Oracle probably needs something to counter DB2 Community Edition in the shallow end of the market and with MySQL they've got it already, with a lively community as an added bonus. They would be silly to ditch it. Not that that has ever stopped anyone... :-)

  9. Chris Miller
    Thumb Up

    Fight, fight!

    Cue "my lawyer's more expensive than your lawyer" battle - is it very wrong of me to hope that both sides lose?

    Opens giant economy tub of popcorn and settles back in seat.

    1. breakfast
      Thumb Down

      Yes

      Actually it is very wrong of you because if both sides lose that means that the lawyers win.

      A strange game. The only winning move is not to play

      1. Chris Miller
        Unhappy

        First rule of litigation

        The lawyers *always* win.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Yay

          Yay for lawyers always winning.

          More litigation please.

          [Employed by lawyers]

  10. pahjbo

    RIP Java

    Oracle buying Sun put Java on life support - this sort of thing is pulling the plug. Oracle should note that Sun suing Microsoft was the beginning of the end of Sun also

  11. jonathan rowe
    Thumb Down

    look at the patents

    Look at the patents, they are generic enough to apply to just about any other language runtime. What utter bullshit.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And anyone doubted Oracle was EVIL?

    Well first we know Oracle lies, it promised the European Competition Commision it would be a good steward for Java.

    Next I guess we can expect Oracle to sue world plus dog over MySQL.

    TIME TO STOP USING JAVA.

    It is pretty bad when you have to acknowledge that Microsoft is the better corporate citizen.

    Well it is good that C# is a marginally better language than Java, and that it learned from Zend and the AS400 to compile on first use, making it substantially more efficient than the hot spot compiling silliness in many versions of Java.

    It is really too bad you can not lock executives up for deceiving European regulators, it might make these companies acquisition promises worth the toilet paper they are written on.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Well, you can use Clojure then...

      > Calls for stopping to use Java

      > Proclaims that C# is a marginally better language than Java

      My face on the left

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      wrong!

      Numpty

      The CLR dynamically compiles code as well, why is that? because dynamic compilation is faster in the long run than statically compiled code. It can inline code between modules/jars/assemblies, it can pass parameters through the registers, it can see how the code interacts and perform more effective compilation. Stick to RPG.

      1. Shakje
        Stop

        Re: wrong!

        It dynamically compiles, but it keeps hold of the compiled code in memory so that it doesn't have to compile it again. I.e. if you're doing a massive for loop with some repetitive crap in the middle it'll only compile the repetitive crap once during that process' lifetime, and then just calls the compiled code for every other iteration. Unless I'm very much mistaken, the JVM compiles every time it hits something.

        Once again, unless I'm very much mistaken, that makes you the numpty.

  13. maxki
    Troll

    wrong law suit

    If I was Oracle , I would sue the sun - I mean that bright shiny thing - and demand that it changes its name to something else.

    Hereby this idea is copyrighted , just in case Oracle decide to sue the sun.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      IP law 101

      sorry, you cannot copyright ideas.

      1. Rob Dobs
        Unhappy

        wrong

        You are morally right, you SHOULD not be able to copy ideas. However the US allows for patents on both Business processes and methods, and any story or work is an idea, and protected by copyright law.

        A business process or method (one click shopping) can be patented (AND WITHHELD form the rest of us) simply by filing the paperwork and paying the money. The process doesn't have to be made, or even work, just described.

        This is SO against what copyright and patents were intended for its sick.

        Time to start a Pirate Party in the US, and force a change in IP rules.

        DumbF&*Cks selling media don't realize the system is so gamed against the average person, that the average person feels morally righteous in stealing from these evil empires.

  14. TonyHoyle

    The end of java then

    Oracle have decided that java is a single vendor solution. No JVM except the Oracle JVM.

    Can't see the language surviving that.

    Of course with those patents c# is going to have a fight too (which is also a single vendor solution, but it never pretended to be anything else.. and the vendor is big enough to get away with it).

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. amehaye

        Actually, *you* are wrong

        C# and the CLR are indeed ECMA standards. However, they are also patent encumbered. You are only as free to create an implementation of them as Microsoft wills you to.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        What is worse is JAVA IS NOT STANDARDIZED

        Java is NOT an ISO standard (as C# is), in fact standardization ISN'T EVEN IN PROGRESS. Sun withdrew the Java standard when they found that they must release control over the language and CONTRIBUTE RELATED IP (read patents) to the public good.

        Java is a "Community Process", contributors and committees make submitals to Sun and Sun decides what to include (it now feels like steal). No one can do jack with Java officially that Sun (Oracle) does not approve.

        Microsoft maintains control over SOME C#/CLR IP, but it relates mostly to Windows implementations. For what is in ECMA/ISO control, ECMA/ISO also has a non discriminatory patenet use agreement in place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Flame

          C# full of submarine patents

          "Java is NOT an ISO standard (as C# is), in fact standardization ISN'T EVEN IN PROGRESS. Sun withdrew the Java standard when they found that they must release control over the language and CONTRIBUTE RELATED IP (read patents) to the public good."

          Yes. But happily that didn't apply at Microsoft, who kept all the patents and _still_ got C# through the standardisation process. Money can buy everything, especially ISO.

          Which means ISO standardises _anything for anyone_ who has enough money to pay for it, which in turn means that ISO-standards mean nothing: No matter how many submarine patents there are, ISO don't care if you have money.

          Sun didn't have, MS had. It's so simple.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            ISO Who?

            So c# is an ISO standard? The the fuck cares what ISO says after the OOXML fiasco; they'll rubber stamp anything as a "standard" if you bribe them enough. If I win the lottery this week I'll talk to them about assigning the way I scratch my arse as an international standard.

            ISO? Wise up!

        2. Kebabbert

          MS stopped Java standardization:

          "Java is NOT an ISO standard (as C# is), in fact standardization ISN'T EVEN IN PROGRESS. Sun withdrew the Java standard when they found that they must release control over the language and CONTRIBUTE RELATED IP (read patents) to the public good."

          MS stopped Java from being standardized. MS claimed it is not good for a company to exert too much power over a standard, which is fair. But now MS is just exerting that much power over OOXML! Hipocrasy.

          http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EKF/is_n2203_v44/ai_20201013/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No

      the other JVM vendors have licensed Java so they are allowed to use the technology covered by the patents. The difference is that Google didn't license anything.

  15. RISC OS
    Stop

    Let me know ...

    ... in 10 years what the result of the case is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      In 10 years...

      ...Oracle is in financial ruins having paid almost all money to the lawyers. They're delisted from NASDAQ and what remaining stock is sold as ORCL.PK for $0.08 a share and are under bankruptcy protection after remnants of Sun's former developers are granted rights to the patents in another case because they weren't transferred as part of the acquisition. Google is still waiting as Oracle files appeals regarding the Sun case's result. By this time, the lawyers are retired and living a life of luxury along the coast.

  16. Hieronymus Coward

    For the love of god...

    ...this is why software patents are bad.

    I can't say I am surprised at this. I would have been surprised if Oracle gave all the IP for Java to the community - that might have made me think differently about them... time to take a serious look at MySQL forks...

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Agreed completely

      In this day and age, software patenting is just patenting having fingers or being born with legs.

      It's anti competitive and serves only to protect a company's profit margin from anyone who might wish to offer a better/cheaper service.

      1. breakfast

        Antiquated approach to the modern world

        I don't think sofware patenting is theoretically bad, but it should have no relationship to mechanical patents. A software patent should be it's own thing, very restricted and of a term that makes sense in the IT world- maybe 18 months, perhaps extendable to 3 years if the idea is exploited by the patentee within the initial period.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Flame

          Re: Antiquated approach to the modern world

          So you don't think that keeping your head down, just developing software using common techniques, and then being pulled up for "infringing" on someone else's "intellectual property" is bad? What next? The cops pull you in and tell you that you've broken some law you never heard about, but that's still not a bad society to live in?

          Software patents are just instruments for the rich to exercise arbitrary control over everyone else.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            A lot of the Android team are former Sun folks

            So they can't easily claim they didn't know what they were doing. Also it it my understanding that Google tried to license Java but then didn't want to pay any royalties so that's why they went this route.

  17. Ebeneser
    FAIL

    Worst thing that's happened to Java

    was Oracle bought it.

    1. Wake up befor you sleep thru windows last crash...
      Jobs Halo

      Roid development

      That's what killed it. Maybe if Goog had a real SDK instead, it could have worked. Roid just lost all it's apps.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Handbags at 10 paces

    Then get the purses out.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Not Java

    The point is that a Java app should work on all brands of phone but Google have made a lock-in to Android which is even worse than what Microsoft did with Java on Windows so I'm with Oracle on this one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Not Java

      Oh yes, all those other popular Java based phones like .....???

      Don't confuse the full blown apps on Android with java games on some other phones.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      That's right it's not Java

      Google never claimed it was. It just uses Java as a programming environment but the runtime environment and has never been called Java or a JVM.

      As for lock-in, there is nothing to stop you porting Dalvik to any platform you so desire because it's open source. Dalvik could even run on an iPhone (probably fairly easily considering both are based off BSD C libraries) if someone put the effort into it.

      1. Paul Shirley

        patent wars just fizzle out

        It was speculated that Google did this 'not Java' thing to prevent Sun having any contractual rights to assert against Android - its not Java, not licensed, not contracted -> not actionable. Given Sun's shitty attitude to licensing they had to do something in any case.

        And guess what: Oracle have had to fall back on patent claims. I'd love to see fireworks here but if that's all they've got this ends with a patent cross license deal, or if Oracle plays hardball, with Oracle bled to dead by decades in litigation.

        [BTW: if you want real Java on Android, there's an app for that. It worked but I couldn't really see the point using crappy Java apps on the phone]

    3. Kay Burley ate my hamster
      Stop

      This is different

      What MS did was create a version which would only work on their browser on the dominant windows platform.

      What Google have done is create a version with add-on's which would only work on their platform, much like any other platform version. They all have odd hooks specific to the platform.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    And for those who need a translation...

    ... business is doing badly because of the financial fraud recession, and Oracle isn't getting as many of those overpriced licence fees. Therefore give the bottom-feeding lawyers something to do by looking for a big payoff to boost the bottom line.

    Honestly, Java is a language. It was a two bit washed up language until it got taken up by the web. Trying to attack people for having the temerity to use that language to create a product is like creating a worldwide depression via your own fraud, and then paying yourself bonuses for your subsequent actions.

    Doesn't anyone else thing the lawyers and big businesses should have their balls on the line if they try this type of thing on. Surely the court should be able to zero the copyrights and patents associated with the case if the attempt is made to misuse them, and send the lawyers to jail for years.

  21. Bugs R Us
    FAIL

    People hate Oracle anyway

    Nobody I know likes Oracle. Their database platforms are a pain in the ass for developers and operations and Java is just a mess of libraries now and the language itself has been surpassed by C#. Go Google (you've got more money than Oracle, sink 'em.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damned Software Patents; state santioned monopoly carp, like all IP.

    Google only did what Sun was too lazy and stupid to do, provide a VM which could run Java properly on resource constrained devices, without a licence which seriously limits Java exposure. I was annoyed that I couldn't get a decent JVM on resource constrained devices, just their pathetic, too lightweight, butchered versions.

    What Oracle should do is agree to withdraw the suit if Google agree that Oracle can also use and develop Davic, and also stop blocking use of the Java test suite!

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    Wow

    This is a holy shit kind of lawsuit.

    Can't say I think the case has much merit. Android doesn't run Java or use a JVM or use any Sun code. Android uses Dalvik which is another virtualization layer which is quite different from a JVM. Programmers may happen to use the Java programming language to create programs but then they're converted into Dalvik executable files. It's not like Google have tried to pass their stuff off as Java as Microsoft did when they introduced proprietary extensions into the language.

    I also feel if Oracle were on the ball in the first place there wouldn't have been a need for Google to do what they did. Java is a great platform, but boy is it conservative. Oracle / Sun is like a massive oil tanker that simply don't have the ability to turn on a dime to support emerging technologies.

    Java ME simply doesn't address the needs of smart phones, and neither does JavaFX for that matter. It's probably the utter failure of JavaFX and sour grapes which has spurred this lawsuit. I kind of like JavaFX but there is no doubt that Sun / Oracle have captured practically zero mindshare for their tech and it seems to be lumbering pretty aimlessly at present.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US IT industry

    Seems to have as much if not more to do with the court room as with IT.

  25. Antony Riley
    Joke

    Java?

    There is no Java in Android.

    These are not the droids you are looking for.

  26. brettwold

    Android sales up.....lawsuit out....

    I guess Oracle lawyers are bored now they have run out of stuff to do while taking over Sun...

  27. MrHorizontal

    In some ways C# is more open than Java

    While C# is an ECMA standard, when MS submitted it, it also submitted the CLR to ECMA as well, so it's as open as the other big ECMA standard, JavaScript. Java on the other hand has it's JVM exclusively controlled by Sun and now Oracle, and has never been 'open' in the same way, so it does surprise me that Java is perceived as an 'open' language while C# is perceived as 'proprietary'. For once MS did the right thing there...

    Sure, mono and other C# / .NET derived projects aren't quite as enterprise ready when used away from Windows, primarily because only MS and Novell really drive C#, while Java has Google, Oracle, IBM and practically every other house supporting and contributing to it. Similarly OSS foundations like Apache, while incubating some C# projects, haven't made all of their projects C#, and that's the only thing IMO other than odd .exe and .dll binaries on a *nix platform when using mono that really stall C#. Credit to MS for producing it, because it's truly a wonderful language.

    On the flipside though since I mentioned Apache, they've proven to be a very good house for incubating and even things like the relatively basic apache commons project establishes Java as a richer environment than most. I say that Oracle hand over Java to ASF and be done with this nonsense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Errm...

      in some ways up is down and down is up

    2. amehaye

      Re: In some ways C# is more open than Java

      You forget that C# and the CLR are protected by patents owned by Microsoft. The situation is no different from the Java situation. Being standardized does not remove the patent encumbrance.

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      But, just from the names...

      ... it sounds like they're claiming IP rights over the algorithms — not the specific implementations — that are used for preparing, loading/binding and possible running programs that run in the same manner as the JVM. Whether Dalvik does or doesn't technically infringe, I have no idea.

      And I'll be cheering on Google, for the reasons you state and more. I'll add: Oracle are probably going to grab a load of mindshare from this, but none of it positive.

    4. Francis Fish
      Coat

      Oracle may be a PITA

      But it's not DB2

      MySQL isn't enterprise class - you have to keep rolling your own stuff all the time - Oracle comes with tools (and yeah, you've paid for them as part of buying the database).

      But ...

      If you were to mention Oracle Fusion - then I might agree with you

  28. Paul E

    counter sue?

    I assume Google must have bought up enough companies with patents that would probably be viable as fodder for counter suing?

  29. dotdavid
    FAIL

    Ridiculous

    I was wondering when the Evil Empire of Oracle would start attacking its neighbours after taking over Sun. I can just see how the meeting about Jav with the EU Competition Commission must have went - coming back from their meeting with Ellison, stepping off the plane, holding a wad of paper high and saying "peace in our time"...

    I can also see this making people very nervous of using Java, which considering how it's gotten into almost everything is very bad for everyone apart from Oracle's lawyers. In retrospect, Java (or specifically the suing rights) is an obvious benefit to Oracle and is probably the main reason they bought Sun in the first place.

  30. SlabMan

    And having sued Google...

    ... next will come all the handset and tablet manufacturers ...

    I still don't get it. Why do manufacturers sign up to Android? Not only are you relying on the good will of (non-evil) Google to keep supporting the platform, and not turning it into a mobile spam machine - now it turns out it's legally encumbered as well. And how do you differentiate your brand when it's all about who makes the best Android device?

    HP made a smart move buying Palm. Let's hope they can execute.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Gosling comments

    http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/entry/the_shit_finally_hits_the

    As does Tim Bray:

    http://twitter.com/timbray/status/21023407881

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      re: "And having sued Google... "

      "Mobile Spam Machine" is an excellent bad name. Jolly well done, sir.

    2. Ian Yates

      title

      I can't answer your (rhetorical) question, but my 2p worth:

      "relying on the good will of (non-evil) Google to keep supporting the platform"

      Well, they could fork the project and continue their own merry way (without Market).

      "how do you differentiate your brand when it's all about who makes the best Android device?"

      Actually, this is where I think Android is a great solution.

      Instead of myriad obscure OSs and mobile platforms, things are (seemingly) starting to settle. This is probably driven by the desire to get people building apps, and that would be much harder if an OS was used by only one brand (iPhone excepted, WebOS withstanding).

      Also, if Google eventually decouple the UI from the OS, manufacturers will be able to customise the UI and still support new OS updates (within limits).

      HTC Sense is a wonderful achievement; and HTC only had to concentrate on adapting the graphical interface instead of ground-up OS work.

      Long live Android!

    3. Geoff Campbell
      Thumb Up

      Simples

      They sign up to Android because it is currently the best game in town, by a very large margin. It is arguably better than Apple's iOS, but that's not available for general use, so what're the remaining choices?

      Windows mobile is a lot better than its reputation, but needs a lot of work to get looking good, and still isn't as good as Android even after that.

      Writing a complete OS and application suite in-house requires massive investment, and will probably not be as good as Android at the end.

      MeeGo or whatever the hell it's called this week is immature, and when it matures will probably not be as good as Android.

      Palm, Symbian, whatever are all not available for general use, and anyway are not as good as Android.

      I would assume that all manufacturers who are using it have got a good solid licence for the version they are shipping on their devices, so should be pretty safe.

      GJC

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Symbian is open source under EPL

        And so available for general use. OK writing the device drivers can be a pain in the backside, but if you're willing to put the effort...

      2. Geoff Campbell
        Happy

        Downvoted twice for stating the bleedin' obvious?

        Tough crowd.

        GJC

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because it's free

      And don't kid yourself, Google long ago took top spot for tech Evil Empire

  32. brimful

    Go Mono

    Google should roll-up their Java thingy and go mono instead. Now that'll be interesting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Grenade

      L O L

      Maybe you should learn another language and stop this ridiculously wishful thinking!

  33. paulc
    Gates Horns

    Personally I suspect that

    Microsoft are really behind this attack on Google... after all, who really benefits from it? Especially as there's a host of Android based tablets coming out and getting them blocked from import into the US will benefit Microsoft as they have a load of Windows 7 based tablets coming out as well...

    1. George of the Jungle
      Black Helicopters

      Maybe it's the other meglomaniac

      ...or maybe ol' Larry wants to help out his good friend Stevie Jobs. Android is growing too fast, so put some FUD around the Android and help the iPhone. If you can also take the piss out of Google at the same time why not?

      Black helo for obvious foil-hat reasoning.

      1. ColonelClaw
        Flame

        Surprised

        I'm just surprised it took until the second page of comments for someone to implicate Apple in this mess, normally in the Reg comments section they pop up as the villain by the fifth comment, no matter what the story.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rest of world is a bigger market

      So, banning import to USofA may not be a big problem.

      I'm thinking China, India, Russia, SAmerica, Europe. Way more people than the US, many of whom want cheap phones and tablets. Go Android!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Alert

      Kindly remember Steve Jobs is Larry Ellison's best friend

      Since at least one of you missed it, Larry was slated to inherit Apple if Steve's health had declined, they put in place a deal to sell Steve's shares to Larry. Thus it is far more likely that Larry sued on Steve's (or his own eventual) behalf, not Microsoft's, which he hates (read SQL Server).

      It is so easy to blame Microsoft for everything but I hear Balmer has been much more pleasant to be around now that they have plastic chairs at Microsoft.

  34. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Hangers on ....... they're to be found everywhere.

    Schmidt to Ellison and their Supporting Teams of Pathetic Slick Sick Litigants........ "Pfcuk Off, you parasitic morons, that's no way to driver with technologies you are not smart enough to understand fully."

  35. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    So it is true then...

    that lawyers run America. Time and time again it has been shown that expensive and lengthy court cases only benefit the legal system and those that swim in it.

    If I was a shareholder you would have to ask the question, (well I would if I was a major shareholder in any of these companies), why oh why is the board taking our company down this route when no-one benefits.

    Let’s say Oracle wins the suit Google will have to pay them a large sum and Google Android phones go up in price. Shareholders lose and so does the consumer.

    Google wins, Oracle raise their prices. Shareholders lose and so does the consumer.

    Either way its a lose-lose for everyone but the shark infested justice system..

  36. Mage Silver badge
    Happy

    Choice

    A pox on both their houses

  37. Nikolai Kuzmin
    Headmaster

    oracle is right on this one

    What Google is doing is subverting and fragmenting the platform. They work outside of JCP, they implement something that is neither a subset nor a superset of any standart Java platform - it has stuff that is not part of SE and misses mandatory bits of ME - replacing them with custom functonality. Google did not write their VM from scratch - they borrowed from Apache Harmony project (which does strive to build a fully compliant implementation of Java) and threw out enough bits to make it incompatible with any other Java VM and not subject to JCP, i.e. controlled by Google only.

    Why Google did not use Java ME (or SE - the hardware is good enough)? They did want android to look open and attract developers, but they did not want it to be really open because that might have scared network operators. So, when faced with choice - go fully open (and use opensource JCE-compliant VM) or go fully closed (and license a JCE-compliant VM like other phone makers do) they choose to cut a new path. We'll see where it leads.

    One thing is certain, though. Oracle is no SCO, they have much much more money, and if Google does not come back into the fold of JCP soon more lawers will become very very rich.

  38. Ian Yates
    WTF?

    "Google has injured Oracle America"

    ... who until recently didn't even own Java.

    If Google had been paying whatever royalties/licensing costs Oracle reckon they should have been from the start, they probably wouldn't have got such a "bargain" for Sun in the first place...

    Loopy

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Semantics

    Well, their patent entitled "System and method for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space cloning of a master runtime system process" can probably be discounted because if they knew what they were talking about when they wrote it, they would have understood that a class can never be instantiated, thus never preloaded - a class is just a definition, "object" is the word they were looking for.

    This type of sloppy semantics is rife in computer literature and deserves to be punished.

    1. Pat 3
      FAIL

      Re: Semantics

      If you've used java you should know that a class is also an object. When classloaders load jars they load all the classes into memory. Anyone who has ever run tomcat with dynamic reloading has probably noticed how much memory this usually causes applications to leak.

  40. halms
    Thumb Down

    the sun is gone

    i dont think android is a great solution. i KNOW android is a great solution.

    sun would never do this. its all about money to oracle.

  41. CheesyTheClown
    Megaphone

    Looks like Oracle wants licensing fees for all Android phones

    The technology included by Google DOES in fact infringe on the patents. But for that fact, some of the patents apply to all kinds of virtual machines in general. I'm almost sure that IBM has to have at least a truckload of VM patents that should "prior art" at least a few of the more general ones. Maybe ones related to Smalltalk.

    As for combination of VM and native code combined, pretty sure the patent will hold up unless some of the Scheme guys out there published something in ACM a long while back.

    It's sad because Oracle can go after a ton of companies depending on object oriented JITs with those very patents.

    Gotta wonder though... is there actually money in Java outside of patent litigation? Really, it's Sun did a great job propagating the tech so that 15 years later, we're still using the same ugly ass class libraries, hell Oracle/Sun should be sued for AWT and Swing on matter of principle alone. But, where is there actually money to maintain Java? I just don't see there being any profit in it anywhere.

    Looks like Oracle is trying to find a way to get a $1 license fee for every phone out there using their technology (that's what it used to cost 10 years ago anyway). I'm pretty sure that Oracle could very easily go after Adobe for this as well. After all, most of those patents also apply to the Flash platform. Actually, I'm almost 100% sure that the same patents should backfire on any company implementing a tracing compiler and even an EcmaScript JIT. Though the fact that EcmaScript is prototyped as opposed to object oriented might beat at least the class loader patent.

    Funny to think that Apple's stubbornness regarding Java and Flash and sticking almost entirely to native code in C based languages might make them the only non-Java licensee to be immune to this.

  42. Paul Ireland

    Licensing? Javascript?

    I thought that phone manufacturers like Nokia, and other software vendors that shipped Java, traditionally signed licensing agreements with Sun in order to get permission to do so (not just for copyright issues but other isues like intellectual property, patents, trademarks, etc).

    I can understand why Apple wisely steered clear of including Java in their iPhone and iPads.

    As a developer who used to develop Java games for mobile phones, I was a bit disappointed about Apple not including Java, but I had pulled out of that market well before then, so not so disappointed.

    I was also surprised that Google chose to include Java with Android, especially when it was doing so much work with Javascript performance and its V8 Javascript engine.

    Perhaps Oracle is unwittingly but finally sending out messages that Java on mobiles in dead. Java on mobiles is dead. Long live Javascript!

  43. g e

    In other news...

    Google releases an Enterprise-level database system with seamless Oracle migration.

    For Free.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. Peter 39

    iPhone

    I guess that no Java on iPhone was a good call :)

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clever

    Now you know why most companies wont use open source software in business..... it could suddenly become not quite open source and they get sued for billions.

    Oracle is doing Microsoft and the other giants a massive favour with this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Opensource?

      This is nothing to do with open source, this is Oracle sabre-rattling with some shiny patents it has acquired. Like others have said, the vagueness of the patants makes many VMs vulnerable, it's just google is first in the firing line.

      Yes, Java's open source nature meant that accidental or intentional patent infringement is facilitated much better, but it happens with closed source propietry software too.

      The real criminals, the people who approve software patents in the US.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now is the time for Xerox...

    To release Smalltalk to the public domain. If they'd done that in the first place we'd not have had to put up with utter crap like C++ and (the not quite so crap) Java, let alone C#. Imagine using an OOL for OOP! Madness!

  48. JJS
    Alert

    Wait what?

    A patent infringement suit not filed in the Eastern District of Texas?

    SOUND THE ALARMS! THE END IS NIGH!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @breakfast

    "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play"

    Classic. I wonder how many (few) readers caught the reference?

    1. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Global Thermonuclear War among all software patent-holders seems a good idea

      And I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help.

      Actually, I'd like to see a Playmobil of the bad-movie clash of the dinosaurs - the Larry Triceratops in deadly battle with the Sergey/Larry Tyrannosaur, perhaps with a Jobsian Pterodactyl screeching encouragement overhead. I just wish I knew in advance who the little mammals surviving in the bushes would be.

  50. Gil Grissum
    Grenade

    Great

    So now we know why Oracle really bought Sun.

    What next? They sue everyone else claiming any implementation of Linux violates SUN Unix intellectual property? Same lawyer as SCO? Should be obvious what will happen. Oracle's days are numbered. Doesn't Google have more money than them anyway? Find a work around or pay them to go away and STFU so the rest of us can get back to waiting on FLASH to show up on our Android and Palm Pre handsets.

  51. tomwerner
    Happy

    Larry...

    About time to get a Larry icon for the Reg I thinks... this is going to last for a few years.

  52. Dave 13
    FAIL

    The Larry

    Forgive me for being a bit cynical, but you have to wonder why Oracle didn't sue any of the wireless carriers or handset makers. Could it be that Google has something Oracle wants other than deep pockets? The value of Sun in the long term to Oracle may be its IP vault. "Sue the bastards" isn't much of a business strategy but if you're sitting on top of Sun (dwindling value), it may be all you have.

    Larry strikes me as more of a Go player than a Chess master. I wonder what his endgame looks like here? Quash OSS as a philosophy? Make all bow on bended knee to The Larry? Pardon me if I look elsewhere for my DB, HW and Middleware needs..

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Search results

    I wonder if searches for the word "Oracle" will start showing funny results or related keywords....

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that bad for everybody

    Oracle has the ability to destroy Java, and I'm thinking that this is a significant first step.

    Not all of what MS puts under the .Net Framework brand is part of the core that was submitted to

    ECMA, but, for what its worth, they've made a pledge to not charge anything rather than a RAND amount. So you can implement the CLI/CLR and C# but you may be taking risks if you try to implement ASP.Net or WinFoms

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No need to licence Java

    Its a programming language and programming languages are excluded from copyright protection. The vast number of standard library classes can be copyrighted but as mentioned they are all open source.

    The only thing you need a license for is Sun's virtual machine. Google didn't want to, partly to avoid royalties, and partly because its rubbish. So Google made their own virtual machine, and compile Java to code for that machine (instead of Java byte code). If in the process they infringed some obscure patents sun had on virtual machine implementation then that can hardly be called wilful.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose it's no coincidence that oracle announce Java ME is touchui enabled today

    By coincidence oracle have announced that Java ME is touchui enabled today:

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/javame/touchscreen-ui-163480.html

  57. John Watts

    Alternatively ...

    Oracle do databases.

    So do Google.

    Oracle would like to use some of Google's technology or patents.

    Oracle will shut up if Google lets them do x y and z.

    That is all.

  58. Wortel
    Thumb Down

    title

    "Google's Android infringes Oracle America's copyrights in Java and Google is not licensed to do so."

    O rly? so you need a license in order to infringe, now that's novel.

    David Boies needs to go Boiel his head.

    Software patent lawsuits really spoil the day of tomorrow IMHO.

  59. mumpster
    Happy

    Prior Art

    Patent 7426720 looks like malloc so there is some prior art. and it should be dismissed as invalid.:-)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Oracle as SCO?

    Peculiar analogy.

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